Careers in the United States Secret Service can be highly rewarding. With field offices all over the United States and the world, the job opportunities are broad and the experiences are, no doubt, exceptional.
Alaska’s massive network of natural gas and oil pipelines are a major focus for the Secret Service and other federal agencies here, as its link to other critical infrastructure and its importance to the U.S. energy supply makes it particularly vulnerable to attack.
Secret Service agents in Alaska typically work out of the Anchorage field office (907-271-5148).
Preparing for a Career as a Secret Service Agent in Alaska
Secret Service agents in Alaska are hired at the GL-7 federal scale and above. At the GL-7 position, individuals must either possess a four-year college degree (with superior academic achievement), at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GL-5 level, or a combination of the two. Therefore, a four-year bachelor’s degree is a common path for Alaska residents pursing jobs with the Secret Service.
Individuals qualifying through experience must be able to show proof that they have assisted in investigations; conducted investigations and undercover activities; or organized evidence for prosecution officials. Candidates who cannot meet the standards of superior academic achievement, which include being in the top third of their graduating class and earning a GPA of at least 3.5 in all courses related to their major, may also qualify for Secret Service agent jobs in Alaska if they have one, full year of graduate education.
In addition to a four-year degree (or commensurate experience), Alaska residents who want to learn how to become a Secret Service agent must be United States citizens, must be between the ages of 21 and 37 at the time of appointment, must have no felony convictions, and must be able to pass a wide array of physical, written, psychological, and medical evaluations. Further, because jobs with the Secret Service are highly competitive, it should be noted that, in addition to a college degree, academic excellence is recognized as a critical component for candidates.
Although the Secret Service does not require specific areas of study for candidates applying for agent positions, many individuals with their sights set on a career with this highly respected federal agency choose to pursue a college degree that is related to the field of federal law enforcement. As such, individuals often pursue the following degree programs:
- Criminal justice administration
- Emergency management
- Homeland security
- Criminal justice
- Police science
- Forensic science
- Forensic technology
For example, a degree in criminal justice administration is designed to prepare students for a career in federal law enforcement by incorporating the study of general criminal justice with law and related disciplines. Core topics often covered in a criminal justice administration degree program include:
- Criminal Law
- Cultural Diversity in Criminal Justice
- Ethics and Morality in Criminal Justice
- Laws of Criminal Evidence
- Criminal Procedures
- Political Science
- Legal Research and Writing
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Judicial Process
Training Requirements for Alaska Secret Service Agents
All those new to Secret Service jobs in alaska must successfully complete a standard course of training upon being hired, which includes 11 weeks at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, followed by an additional 16 weeks of training at the James J. Rowley Training Center (JJRTC) in Washington D.C.
The JJRTC is designed to teach new agents the protective, investigative and specialized tactical skills that they will need to expertly perform the job of a United States Secret Service agent. Just a few of the training programs completed in this stage of training include:
- Emergency medical techniques
- Financial crimes detection
- Water survival training
- Firearms marksmanship
- Use of force/control tactics
Cyber Security and Oil Pipelines – The Unique Operations in Alaska
Alaska’s network of natural gas and oil pipelines supervisory control and data acquisition systems may be intercepted by hackers, which can cause everything from disrupted service, to spills, explosions and fires. This threat is quite real, according to a report by the Department of Homeland Security in 2012. It was found that there were a number of attempted cyber intrusions, thereby heightening the concern of cybersecurity on Alaska’s pipelines.
Alaska’s Secret Service agents are also often focused on the pervasive problem of counterfeit U.S. currency, bonds and securities. In September 2012, for example, it was discovered that counterfeit money was circulating around the Anchorage. April 2012 also brought about the issue of counterfeit money orders in circulation in the Anchorage area.